Coast Guard Pacific Area holds change-of-command ceremony

Vice Adm. Michael F. McAllister (left) salutes Rear Adm. Peter W. Gautier (right) during the Pacific Area change of command ceremony presided by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl L. Schultz (center) on Base Alameda, June 30, 2021. Pacific Area Command is the Coast Guard’s regional command element and force provider for maritime safety, security and stewardship throughout the Pacific. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Paul Dragin.

Vice Adm. Michael F. McAllister (left) salutes Rear Adm. Peter W. Gautier (right) during the Pacific Area change of command ceremony presided by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl L. Schultz (center) on Base Alameda, June 30, 2021. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Paul Dragin.

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area Command hosted a change-of-command ceremony Wednesday at Coast Guard Base Alameda.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl L. Schultz presided over the ceremony, where Vice Adm. Michael F. McAllister relieved Rear Adm. Peter W. Gautier as the Pacific Area commander.

Gautier has served as the acting Pacific Area commander since June 16 when he assumed command from Admiral Linda Fagan. Gautier will resume his role as deputy Pacific Area commander.

“It was an honor to ensure the continuity of command for Coast Guard Pacific Area during a dynamic transition between Adm. Fagan and Vice Adm. McAllister,” said Gautier. “I look forward to working with Vice Adm. McAllister to advance Pacific Area’s operations and demonstrate our commitment to serving our communities around the Pacific.”

Fagan was nominated by President Joe Biden, April 19, to serve as the Coast Guard’s vice commandant. She was confirmed June 17, making her the first woman in the Coast Guard to be promoted to the rank of Admiral.

Since 2018, McAllister served as the Deputy Commandant for Mission Support at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he led a 17,000-person organization that delivers the systems and people that enable the U.S. Coast Guard to efficiently and effectively perform its operational missions. “I am honored and humbled to serve as the Pacific Area commander,” said McAllister. “It is clear the Pacific Area team has defended and protected our nation’s vital interest. We will continue to ensure the safety and security of our nation’s Pacific and Arctic waters through mastery of operations, strong partnerships, and ensuring the workforce is a diverse and inclusive environment that facilitates personal and professional growth.”

McAllister attended the United States Coast Guard Academy, graduating in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. In 1991, he was awarded a Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and in 2004, he received a Master of Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a member of the Sloan Fellows Program.

Pacific Area Command is the Coast Guard’s regional command element and force provider for maritime safety, security and stewardship throughout the Pacific. The command’s area of responsibility encompasses six continents, 71 countries and more than 74 million square miles of ocean.

The change-of-command ceremony is a historic military tradition. The event, which has remained unchanged for centuries, includes a reading of the command orders in the presence of all unit crew members to ensure continuity of command.


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